Who Do We Think We Are
|Who Do We Think We Are|
Original LP cover art
|Studio album by Deep Purple|
|Released||13 January 1973 (US)
February 1973 (UK)
|Recorded||July 1972 in Rome, Italy and October 1972 in Frankfurt, Germany, with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio|
|Genre||Hard rock, heavy metal, blues rock|
Warner Bros. (US)
|Deep Purple chronology|
|Ian Gillan chronology|
|Roger Glover chronology|
Who Do We Think We Are is the seventh studio album by the British band Deep Purple, released in 1973. It was Deep Purple's last album with singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover until Perfect Strangers came out in 1984.
Musically, the record showed a move to a more blues based sound, even featuring scat singing. Although its production and the band's behavior after its release showed the group in turmoil, with frontman Gillan remarking that "we'd all had major illnesses" and felt considerable fatigue, the album was a commercial success. Deep Purple became the U.S.' top selling artist of the entire year. The album also featured the energetic hard rock single "Woman from Tokyo", which has been performed on several tours by the band over the years.
Despite massive sales, the group disintegrated among much infighting between band members as well as conflicts with their managers. The album's line-up would come to an end after a final concert in Osaka, Japan on June 29, 1973.
"Woman from Tokyo", the first track recorded in July 1972, is about touring Japan for the first time (e.g. the lyric "Fly into the Rising Sun"). The only other track released from the Rome sessions is the out-take "Painted Horse". The rest of the album was recorded in Frankfurt after more touring (including Japan).
Ian Gillan left the band following this album, citing internal tensions widely thought to include a feud with Blackmore. However, in an interview supporting the release of the 1984 Mark II Deep Purple comeback album Perfect Strangers, Gillan stated that fatigue and management conflicts also had a lot to do with it.
We had just come off 18 months of touring, and we'd all had major illnesses at one time or another. Looking back, if they'd have been decent managers, they would have said, 'All right, stop. I want you to all go on three months' holiday. I don't even want you to pick up an instrument.' But instead they pushed us to complete the album on time. We should have stopped. I think if we did, Deep Purple would have still been around to this day.
Album title and artwork
The original album artwork has many quoted articles from newspapers. One of them is from magazine Melody Maker of July 1972, where Ian Paice says:
Deep Purple get piles of passionate letters either violently against or pro the group. The angry ones generally start off "Who do Deep Purple think they are..."
Release and reception
Although "Woman from Tokyo" was a hit single and other songs picked up considerable airplay, the group - riven with internal strife - struggled to come up with tracks that everyone could agree upon. Members of the band were not speaking to each other and many songs were only finished after carefully arranged schedules could be worked out for the band of fighting musicians to record their parts separately. Despite the chaotic birth of the album, the fans bought it in record numbers. In the US, for example, it sold half a million copies in its first three months.
It hit number 4 in the UK charts and number 15 in the US charts. It also achieved a gold record award faster than any Deep Purple album released up to that time. These numbers helped make Deep Purple the best selling artist in the U.S. in 1973 (with the prior acclaim for Machine Head and Made in Japan helping much as well).
Some retrospective critical reviews of the album have been mixed to negative. Reviewer Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic writes:
Except for opener "Woman From Tokyo", which hinted at glories past with its signature Ritchie Blackmore riff, the album's remaining cuts are wildly inconsistent and find the band simply going through the motions. The energetic "Rat Bat Blue" is a memorable exception to the rule, with its start-stop rhythm and Gillan's fine scat singing.
In 2000 Who Do We Think We Are was remastered and re-released with bonus tracks. The last bonus track is a lengthy instrumental jam called "First Day Jam", that features Ritchie Blackmore on bass. Roger Glover, the group's usual bassist, was absent, lost in traffic.
In 2005 Audio Fidelity released the album on a 24 karat Gold CD.
Original vinyl release
- Side one
|1.||"Woman from Tokyo"||5:48|
- Side two
|5.||"Rat Bat Blue"||5:23|
|6.||"Place in Line"||6:29|
|Remastered CD Bonus Tracks|
|8.||"Woman from Tokyo" ('99 Remix)||6:37|
|9.||"Woman from Tokyo" (Alternate bridge)||1:24|
|10.||"Painted Horse" (studio out-take)||5:19|
|11.||"Our Lady" ('99 Remix)||6:05|
|12.||"Rat Bat Blue" (writing session)||0:57|
|13.||"Rat Bat Blue" ('99 Remix)||5:49|
|14.||"First Day Jam" (instrumental)||11:31|
- Deep Purple
- Ritchie Blackmore – lead guitar, bass guitar (on "First Day Jam")
- Jon Lord – keyboards, organ, piano
- Ian Paice – drums, percussion
- Ian Gillan – lead vocals
- Roger Glover – bass guitar
- Additional personnel
- Produced by Deep Purple
- Engineer – Martin Birch
- Rolling Stones Mobile Unit: Jeremy Gee & Nick Watterton
- Equipment – Ian Hansford, Rob Cooksey, Colin Hart, Ron Quinton
- Cover Design – Roger Glover & John Coletta
- Original album mixed by Ian Paice and Roger Glover
- Bonus tracks remixed by Peter Denenberg with Roger Glover
- Remastered and mastered by Peter Mew
- Stan Cornyn. "Stay Tuned By Stan Cornyn: Loudest Purple". Rhino.com. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
- Allmusic review
- Deep Purple: The Interview. Interview picture disc, 1984, Mercury Records.
- "Who Do We Think We Are on European Charts 1973|". Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- Who Do We Think We Are on Australian Charts 26 May 1973
- Who Do We Think We Are on German Charts 1973
- "The Official Charts Company – Who Do We Think We Are". The Official Charts Company. 5 May 2013.
- "Who Do We Think We Are on Billboard". Rovi Corporation / Billboard. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- Woman from Tokyo on Dutch singles Chart in 1972
- Woman from Tokyo on German Charts in 1972
- "French album certifications – Deep Purple – Who Do We Think We Are" (in French). InfoDisc. Select DEEP PURPLE and click OK
- "American album certifications – Deep Purple – Who Do We Think We Are". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH